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Media Release: Learners walk on the wild side in Kruger

Date: 26th September 2008

The Kruger National Park’s (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize welcomed 80 grade 10 learners from the Enhlanzeni Region of Mpumalanga to the launch of the “Walk in the Wild Side” today, 26 September.


KNP managing executive
Dr Mkhize urged the children
from the surrounding
communities to work hard so
that they can be successful

The Kruger National Park’s (KNP) Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize welcomed 80 grade 10 learners from the Enhlanzeni Region of Mpumalanga to the launch of the “Walk in the Wild Side” today, 26 September.

“This whole effort, which we have called ‘Walk in the Wild Side’ is to teach learners that attend our neighbouring schools the importance of conservation and the Kruger National Park,” explained Dr Mkhize at the launch of the project at Skukuza.

Learners taking part in the project, which will kick-off in February 2009, will come from 15 districts from the Enhlanzeni region of Mpumalanga and will all have tourism studies as one of their subjects. These learners will be given an opportunity to come into the park and learn about the park, its various activities and how the KNP’s tourism business works.

“Now, the Walk in the Wild Project which you are helping us launch today is the first step to close that gap that exists in our environmental education programme and teach you, as older learners, the importance of conservation, especially as you have chosen tourism as one of your study directions,” said Dr Mkhize.


Junior KNP scientist Moagi
Keretetse explained to the
learners about the different
scientific fields available ford
the youth in the KNP

Regular projects and programmes run by the KNP, including the “Kids in Kruger” and “Kids in Parks” projects are all aimed at younger school children but the Walk in the Wild Side” is aimed at older, high school learners.

The learners were further encouraged to learn as much they could about South Africa’s beautiful natural heritage and that one day they might proudly wear the SANParks uniform with the conviction that they are going to make a difference in conservation and tourism.

Dr Mkhize also addressed the teachers and adults at the function, explaining the importance of the youth of South Africa. “I am sure you will agree with me that these young, enthusiastic minds are indeed the future of our country and it is up to them whether the Kruger National Park continues to be the world class conservation icon that it has become over the last 110 years,” he said.

As the project will be run jointly by the KNP and the Mpumalanga Department of Education, the learners were also addressed by the Enhlanzeni Regional Director, Mr JE Ndlovu.

Under the banner of the park’s People and Conservation Department, the KNP hosts 55 000 school learners per year with its environmental education projects and programmes.

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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